What to Wear on Your Portrait Session and Tips


Suggestions for What to Wear:

  • Choose comfortable clothes: If you’re not comfortable, it will be noticeable in the pictures. Also, wear comfortable shoes if your location will include a lot of walking (but not tennis shoes).
  • Choose clothing that compliments your personality: Make sure your clothes look like “you” and fit your personality.
  • Wear solid colored clothing
  • Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued
  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light)
  • Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow
  • Choose long pants or a skirt below the knee
  • Choose dark socks and footwear
  • Choose clothes to compliment your location: If you are taking pictures in a field or the mountains, consider clothes with more natural colors. And if you are taking pictures in a downtown area, you might consider more urban clothes with bolder colors.
  • Choose colors that compliment your skin tone: For example, if you have light skin, white clothing can wash out your complexion in photographs.
  • Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic
  • Do your hair the way you’d normally do it while wearing these clothes


Suggestions for What NOT to Wear:

  • Fluorescent Colors: Fluorescent colors (such as bright orange) tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. When the shirt is so bright, it often also changes the color of the person standing next to them.
  • Trendy Clothing: They will date your photos as soon as the trend goes out of style.
  • Major changes with your hair and makeup: You want your engagement photos to reflect who you really are, and you want to be comfortable in your own skin.
  • T-shirts and old tennis shoes: Guys, we know you are comfortable in t-shirts and your favorite tennis shoes, but they don’t look the best in photos.
  • Large Patterns: Wide-striped shirts, dresses and tops with large patterns on them such as large polka dots, or animal prints.
  • Large shirts that are not tucked in: For guys, it’s usually better to wear a belt if you are wearing a polo shirt or a nice button-up shirt. Sometimes, if untucked shirts are too big or too wide, they don’t look good and are “boxy.”
  • Clothing that takes too much attention and that it becomes more about the clothes and a fashion photo that it does your portrait.
  • Headpieces.  We suggest using head pieces toward the end of the shoot.  They tend to move and part of the shoot could be dedicated to adjusting and readjusting the headpiece.
  • Jewelry that stands out too much, subtle jewelry such as stud and small pieces are best.


Additional Tips:

1. If you choose a location outside, the best time for the photo shoot is in the late afternoon as the sun is setting. You can avoid hard shadows in photos taken in the late afternoon.

2. Plan on having a good time! If you’re in a good mood, it will show in the pictures, and you will get more great photos!

3. Consider bringing an outfit to change into mid-way through your photo session. You could start your photo session wearing dressy clothes, and then change into more casual clothes (or vice versa).

Here are a few suggested items to bring to your photo session.  This will make the session comfortable to you:

  • Comfortable walking shoes IN HAND
  • Hair grooming items such as a comb or brush
  • Makeup items for touch-ups
  • A small mirror
  • Bottled water
  • Oil or lotion
  • A duffle bag to carry items